Dodgers News: Walker Buehler Reinstated, Mitch White Optioned

The Los Angeles Dodgers activated Walker Buehler off the 10-day injured list and optioned Mitch White to their alternate training site at USC ahead of Thursday’s game agains the Oakland Athletics.

Buehler is scheduled to start in the rubber match at Dodger Stadium. Both teams have clinched their respective divisions, and in the Dodgers’ case, the best record in the National League as well. With nothing to play for in terms of seeding, the biggest importance for the Dodgers is health.

That primarily lies with Buehler, who has managed to make just two starts this month because of a blister on his right index finger. He was first placed on the IL two days after an Aug. 21 start, then returned Sept. 2 but only made to starts before being put back on the IL.

Buehler kept his arm in shape by throwing simulated games, including being stretched out to 90 pitches in a recent session. Of those, 75 were without the blister covered. “I think it was a little bit of a combo,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts explained.

“Just kind of making sure we don’t tax it or expose it too much. We’re just trying to protect it.”

He’s optimistic the Dodgers have taken every precaution and put Buehler in position to pitch without issue moving forward. Roberts is hopeful to get around six innings or 90 pitches out of his right-hander Thursday night.

Buehler has reached that target just once this season — against the Colorado Rockies in the outing that his blister cropped up after. He also threw 87 and 89 pitches in back-to-back turns prior to that start, going 4.2 and 5.2 innings, respectively.

Looking ahead to the postseason, the Dodgers plan to start Buehler in Game 1 or 2 of the Wild Card Series. Roberts has not yet revealed how he will align Clayton Kershaw and Buehler in the best-of-three series.

White still developing

In what’s largely been a lost year for Minor Leaguers because the 2020 season was cancelled, White has still looked to capitalize on facing other prospects during time spent at USC.

White has been recalled by the Dodgers three times this season, though only appeared in two games. He’s thrown a combined three scoreless innings in those relief appearances.

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